Mikhail Mikhailovich BOZHI

Born in Nikolaev (Ukraine) 1911. Studied at Nikolaev Art Tekhnikum 1930-33. Active in Odessa, Ukraine. Began exhibiting 1937. Important shows include "All-Union Art Exhibition", Moscow, 1950; "All-Union art Exhibition", Moscow, 1951; "All-Union Art Exhibition, Moscow, 1952; "All-Union Art Exhibition", Moscow 1955. Specialised in portraits, genre paintings. Well-known works include Svetlana Shipunova, an Outstanding Student (1950); Kiev Museum of Ukrainian Art); A Nurse (1955; Kiev Museum of Ukrainian Art); My Thoughts, Thoughts (1959-60; Kiev Museum of Ukrainian Art). Became a Soviet academician 1958. Awarded title "People's Artist of the USSR" 1963. Leading Ukrainian realist.
Matthew Cullerne Bown: Russian and Soviet Painters. Ilomar, London)

"Stalin in the Civil War", oil on canvas, 110 x 148.5 cm, appr.1950.

The picture shows Stalin as a political commander at the frontline near Tzaritzin (now Volgograd) together with commander Voroshilov. In reality Stalin never was so near to the frontline in the civil war.

"The most famous definition of Socialist Realism is Aleksandr Gerasimov's explanation: 'Socialist Realism is art that is realistic in form but Socialist in content.' 'It is primarily optimistic about life', Gorky explained, 'and is cognisant of its didactic educational role as it portrays information through images.' But if you study these paintings carefully, you'll find contradictions everywhere when it comes to realism. In fact, I've never seen paintings with more contradictions."
(Anne Visser, "Lenin in Art - The History of an Illusion", Azerbaijan International 14.2, Summer 2006.)

"Lenin", oil on canvas, 69.5 x 50 cm.

"Portrait of the Leader", oil on canvas, 60 x 48.5 cm.

"Stalin and Mikojan at the Kremlin", oil on cardboard, 29.5 x 25 cm.